A new home for Tacoma's Sun King?

A publicly-owned bronze sculpture created more than 30 years ago, but warehoused for the past five years, could be on...

A publicly-owned bronze sculpture created more than 30 years ago, but warehoused for the past five years, could be on display again.

The City of Tacoma announced Monday it is accepting bids from select contractors to install “Sun King,” a bronze sculpture created in 1976 by Oregon artist Thomas Morandi and owned by the City of Tacoma, in a park located at South 15th Street and Dock Street, near Thea Foss Waterway.

The sculpture was originally installed outside the former Sheraton Hotel (now Hotel Murano) along Broadway Plaza in downtown Tacoma for more than three decades. In 2008, however, the public art was placed in storage — first at the City of Tacoma’s sign shop, then Fleet Services, where it was restored, according to City of Tacoma Arts Administrator Amy McBride — to make way for the towering glass-and-steel sculpture “Orizon” by Greek artist Costas Varotsos.

The City of Tacoma will hold an on-site pre-bid conference at 9 a.m. on Thurs., Dec. 5 for Small Works Roster contractors notified directly by the City of Tacoma. The project budget to install “Sun King” is estimated at $25,000. Bids will be received until 11 a.m. on Thurs., Dec. 19.

Tacoma Public Works Project Engineer Dan Cederlund cautions that a timeline for installing “Sun King” is entirely dependent on the bids received. “If bids are reasonable (based on the $25,000 estimate), we plan on awarding just after New Year’s,” said Cederlund in an e-mail to the Tacoma Daily Index this week. “The work window we want is for early spring, so grass can recover, but after the hard freezes are over. We want it open and finished by late-spring. If bids are unreasonable, we can shelve the project, so it’s not a done deal [until] we get the bids. We will know by Mon., Dec. 23 if the project is a go.”

More information about the project is available online here.

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of Tacoma’s Sun King, click on the following links:

Todd Matthews is editor of the Tacoma Daily Index and recipient of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Media from the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for his work covering historic preservation in Tacoma and Pierce County. He has earned four awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including third-place honors for his feature article about the University of Washington’s Innocence Project; first-place honors for his feature article about Seattle’s bike messengers; third-place honors for his feature interview with Prison Legal News founder Paul Wright; and second-place honors for his feature article about whistle-blowers in Washington State. His work has also appeared in All About Jazz, City Arts Tacoma, Earshot Jazz, Homeland Security Today, Jazz Steps, Journal of the San Juans, Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise, Prison Legal News, Rain Taxi, Real Change, Seattle Business Monthly, Seattle magazine, Tablet, Washington CEO, Washington Law & Politics, and Washington Free Press. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications. His journalism is collected online at wahmee.com.

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